Miners lead London markets higher
European equities markets were higher Wednesday as miners saw gains on higher metals prices and after Greece’s cabinet approved new measures to try to get the nation’s debt under control.
The FTSE 100 added 0.9 percent to 5,533.21 in London, while the FTSE 250 was up 0.14 percent to 9,612.17.
Most miners were higher on the session, with three groups in the sector placing among the top five gainers on the 100, led by platinum miner Lonmin (LSE: LMI) with a gain of 5.66 percent, while Aquarius Platinum was up 6.57 percent on the 250 even though its shares are trading ex-dividend and Hochschild Mining (LSE: HOC) turned in the sectors best performance as it added 6.71 percent on the 250.
Two miners, Kazakhmys (LSE: KAZ) and Antofagasta (LSE: ANTO), added 4.84 percent and 3.7 percent respectively after receiving upgrades from Barclays Capital, while only Gem Diamonds (LSE: GEMD) and Talvivaara Mininng Company (LSE: TALV) saw declines in the sector as they dropped 1.8 percent and 0.13 percent respectively.
Insurers were mixed as Legal & General Group LSE :LGEN) added most in the sector with a gain of 5.05 percent, while RSA Insurance Group (LSE: RSA) dropped 4.07 percent for the worst performance on the 100 and in the sector as it traded ex-dividend.
Also trading ex-dividend among the top five losers on the 100 were alcoholic beverages maker Diageo (LSE: DGE), which fell 1.37 percent and property developer and investor Hammerson (LSE: HMSO), which dropped 1.24 percent on the session.
Over on the 250, investment management group Brewin Dolphin (LSE: BRW) was up 7.55 percent for the best performance on the index, while the biggest loser on the index was student housing developer and manager Unite Group (LSE: UTG) with a decline of 11.66 percent.
The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was up 0.77 percent to 1,035.17 while the Dax added 0.72 percent to 5,817.88, the CAC-40 was 0.8 percent higher to 3,842.52 and the IBEX gained 1.36 percent to 10,664.5.
Most markets in the Asia-Pacific region were higher on the session as concerns over economic issues in Greece receded a bit.
The Nikkei 225 was up 0.31 percent to 10,253.14 in Tokyo, while the Topix index added 0.33 percent to 905.65 but the Mothers market dropped 0.43s percent to 412.73.
Traders were up on higher oil and metals prices, but some exporters, especially in the technology sector, saw declines.
Toyota Motor (TYO: 7203) added 3.2 percent after sales in the US only dropped 8.7 percent in February, rather than the 10 percent to 27 percent decline predicted by various analysts.
Fast Retailing (TYO: 9983) was up 4.7 percent after same-store sales were up at its Uniqlo clothing stores.
The Straits Times Index was up 0.38 percent to 2,782.79 while the Taiex added 0.42 percent to 7,629.52 and the Kospi gained 0.45 percent to 1,622.44.
In Australia, the Sydney Ordinaries and the S&P/ASX200 each added 0.72 percent, to 4,743.8 and 4,725.7 respectively, while the Shanghai Composite was up 0.78 percent to 3,097 and India’s Sensex gained 1.36 percent to 17,000.01.
The Hang Seng, on the other hand, was 0.14 percent lower to 20,876.79.
New York markets were up in midday trade, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average adding 0.3 percent to 10,437.49, while at the same time the S&P 500 was up 0.45 percent to 1,123.29 and the Nasdaq Composite had gained 0.3 percent to 2,287.67.
Commodities prices were also higher as metals were up and West Texas Intermediate crude oil was again trading at over $80 per barrel at midday.